Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fifteen in '15

One of the things I always find myself doing at the end of a year and the beginning of the next is looking back.  Compared to 2014, I have to say that 2015 was almost quiet.  Almost.  So here are my top fifteen of '15.  
1.  When I think about 2015, there's only one word that comes to mind.  Homeschool.  That was the year the Lord called us to homeschool.  This was one of those things borne purely out of obedience.  And the Lord has blessed.  I really never imagined we would be one of "those" families.  But it also didn't surprise me too much.  What did surprise me was how relatively easy the transition was for our family.  Of course, that's totally a God-thing.  Mason and Hannah Kate continue to enjoy it, and we've already moved forward with our homeschooling plans for next year.  So that's exciting.

2.  Besides homeschool, there's one more thing that will always be synonymous with 2015.  Seth and I celebrated 15 years of marriage.  We took a 10-day anniversary trip out west and northwest.  It was my first time ever visiting that area of the country.  And it was phenomenal!

Now.  Because I honestly had a hard time coming up with a list of fifteen, our anniversary and our anniversary trip will count for four of those fifteen!

3.  Glacier National Park was one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I've ever been to!  I do hope to go back one day.

4.  I think our time in the Grand Tetons was my favorite of the trip.  The hike we took that day was amazing!

5.  We really didn't have enough time in Yellowstone.  But we had enough time that I know I definitely want to go back one day.  I'd love to take the kids there.

And.  In no particular order are the rest.

6.  Ellie, the "baby-est" of all my babies, moved into a big girl bed.  As a matter of fact, I feel like she's no longer a toddler anymore.  She really is a big girl.  I supposed what was most memorable about that was that the crib went down for the last time.

7.  Mason finished 4th grade as a Silver Scholar.  And he did it ALL. BY. HIMSELF.  That was the first year in three years that he was no longer in private therapy and reading remediation.  It was in 4th grade that he finally got it.

8.  Hannah Kate finished 1st grade as a Platinum Scholar and also as the highest achieving student in her class.

9.  I chaperoned my first kids' camp.  Most memorable was probably the shower I took once I finally got home!

10. July.  That is all.  July 2015 was INSANE.  We celebrated two birthdays, our anniversary, VBS (which was definitely one of my favorite in recent years) and hosted lots of Georgia family that month.

11. Ellie began taking dance.  Now, we're still right smack dab in the middle of this.  But I'm quite certain the best is yet to come.  I mean, the girl's got moves.  She's also got a little attitude.  She loves to sing and dance and dress fancy.  She wants to go to dance EVERY DAY.  She also still thinks she takes hip-hop on Tuesdays (which she does not).  So to say I'm looking forward to the recital this year is definitely an understatement!

12. I haven't blogged about this at all, but I began teaching the youth Bible study class at church last August.  That was definitely a surprise, something I did not at all see coming.  It's been a long time . . . YEARS . . . since I taught youth.  And not that I can't teach youth or don't like to teach youth.  My ministry for the last 10 years has revolved around children, mainly my own children.  And the SCARIEST part of parenting to me (right now) is the teenage years.  I mean, just the thought of it sends me running for a brown paper bag!  Teenagers don't scare me.  Teenage years do.  So, in my effort to delay my own children's teenage years as much as I possibly can (yeah, right), I've pretty much kept my distance from youth ministry!  So when I was called to do this in August, I didn't necessarily jump into the deep end.  Let's just say I carefully waded into the shallow end.  Besides, it was only supposed to be for an interim time anyway.  But that interim time has stretched a little, and I can honestly say I'm glad.  I'm having the best time with them!  And they have actually helped me to look forward to those teenage years with my own children.  Sort of.  Let's just say I'm not quite as scared now.

13. This seems silly, but I absolutely loved everything about our Christmas tree!  We had a real tree for the first time in several years.  As a matter of fact, I would totally be okay if it was still standing in the corner of the family room! 

14. Hannah Kate sang her first ever solo in our church's Christmas musical.

15. Mason recited Luke 2:1-20 in our church's Christmas musical.  Everyone enjoyed it so much that he did it again at our Christmas day service.

So even though there weren't a lot of "big ones," I'll always remember 2015 as a special year in the life of my family.  Because it's all of the regular, ordinary days that hold the fondest memories.  And there were too many of those to list in 2015!      

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